The Annual Symposium of the CPRIT Therapeutic Antibody Core – 2017

This is an image of a poster set up for the Core's 2017 annual symposium.

A poster set up for the Core’s 2017 annual symposium. Click photo to see more.

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 30, 2017, the CPRIT Therapeutic Antibody Core hosted its annual symposium in Houston, Texas. The event included eight presentations by academic experts in antibody therapeutic development.


Dr. Rongfu Wang, Director of the  Center for Inflammation and Epigenetics at Houston Methodist, Weill Cornell Medical College, delivered a keynote talk on targeting neo-antigens for cancer therapy. Dr. Wang’s lab studies novel mechanisms in tumor immunity and tolerance, innate immune regulation, regulatory T cell biology, inflammation, and epigenetics. Their work is well-funded by grants from NIH, American Cancer Society, Cancer Research Institute and CPRIT. Prior to joining Houston Methodist, Dr. Wang held appointments at the Baylor College of Medicine and NCI.


Following the keynote, speakers addressed a range of targets for cancer therapeutic antibodies. Dr. Sally Ward, Professor in the Departments of Molecular & Cellular Medicine and Microbial Pathogenesis & Immunology at Texas A&M University presented “Targeting FcRn: from modulating IgG dynamics to metabolic regulation.” Dr. Kathryn A. O’Donnell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center spoke of targeting protocadherin 7 (PCDH7) for cancer therapy. Next, Dr. Alec Zhang, Associate Professor in the Departments of Physiology and Developmental Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, addressed the topic of “Immunology and biology of LILRBs in AML.”


After a break, two more researchers presented work on a major core project. Dr. Xun “Mark” Gui, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth – Houston) presented “Antibodies for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapy.” Samuel John, M.D., Assistant Instructor in oncology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, talked about “Targeting LILRB4 using CAR-T cells for AML treatment.”


Finally, Dr. Kyoji Tsuchikama,  Assistant Professor at UTHealth – Houston, presented updates on his lab’s work on conjugation and linker chemistries for antibody drug conjugates. Tsuchikama’s group recently published an article on this work.


More than a hundred participated, including students, professors, and other scientists. The home institutions of those registered included Houston Methodist Research Institute, the Baylor College of Medicine, and the company AM Biotechnologies.